Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A.H. Libensperger Pretzel Factory

627 Lalor Street

                The Libensperger family began making pretzels in Deutzville circa 1892.  A great grandfather and four great uncles in the family served in the Revolutionary War.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Abbott - DeCou Mansion

Abbott - DeCou Mansion
58 Soloff Drive

        Once at the end of a  long lane leading from South Broad Street, the house in which Lacey and Sally Abbott settled was built in 1797.  Lacey was the grandson of Timothy Abbott, the son of John Abbott, who came to this country from England in the early 1700s, and settled on this land later known as Spring Lake Park.  Later John bought land a mile east of the Watson plantation.
                The home is referred to as the old DeCou mansion because Peter DeCou purchased it in 1892.  DeCou's wife, Martha, was known to many as "Aunt Martha," a generous and civic-minded person.  For example, when a school on South Broad Street was necessary, Aunt Martha donated a large plot of land for a playground.  The former DeCou School and the DeCou Hose Company are named in her honor.
                  Source: Old Nottingham, Historical Association of Hamilton Township

         The above image depicts what was originally the rear (north elevation) of the house with the rear (south elevation) toward the Delaware River being the main entrance.  The house is on the National and State Registers.  It is privately owned. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

1898 Broad Street Park Notes

Trenton State Gazette



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Historic White Horse Tavern

WEST, A History of Hamilton Township. 1954

". . .  With the drawbridge (over the Crosswicks Creek) in operation,the route through (Isaac) Pearson's farm was becoming more important, more heavily used.  As a result, construction of a tavern, at what became known as White Horse . . . would likely have been wanted.  (Isaac) Pearson had the tavern built in 1765, according to Helen West's 1954 history of Hamilton Township.  Pearson continued to own the property on which the tavern was built until his death.  Many taverns were rental properties, with the tavernkeeper paying rent to the owner.  Pearson ... leased out his tavern "
                           Source:  US Department of the Interior, National Park Service  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Undated Spring Lake Photograph

Souce: Trentoniana Collection, Trenton Public Library

          This image of Spring Lake, (White City Lake), may have been taken at the end of the nineteenth century when the lake was created considering the clear and clean landscaping.  This appears to be the lane on the western side of the lake.

Friday, April 24, 2015

1919:Unions Outing at White City Park


     The picture of the Bakery and Confectionery Workers Local Union No. 261 was taken at White City Park after the Labor Day parade mentioned in the newspaper article.  Josef Wagner, bread baker, is pictured third from the left in the second row from the bottom.  Mr. Wagner worked at various bakeries including Tilton's on South Broad Street.  The ribbons were worn on the day the picture was taken.  Appreciation is extended to the anonymous person who provided the images.

Friday, April 17, 2015

RHC Ladies Choral Group

          This image is of the Rusling Hose Company Ladies Auxiliary Choral Group circa 1950s.  Pictured front row, L to R, are Josie Mapps (?), Rose Mannix, Ruth Mycock, Helen Sherman and Doris Belmont (?).  Second row, L to R, are Helen Sitko, Rose Buzinski, Irene Nuel, Gloria Onofri, Doris Petty and June Vaccaro.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1773: Isaac Pearson House

Isaac Pearson House
Hobson and Emaline Avenues

          The land on which the Isaac Pearson House sits  was originally owned by Thomas Tindall who came to America about 1678.   Isaac married Tindall's granddaughter and built this old mansion in 1773.  The story of Isaac Pearson states that he decided do forsake the continental cause during the Revolutionay War and take the British Oath of Allegiance.   He left his home with a large amount of money and was supposedly headed to New Brunswick to sign the Oath.  He stopped in Hightstown and was allegedly killed by continental soldiers.  He never actually signed the British Oath of Allegiance.  Isaac's granddaughter, Mary, married Thomas Hopkinson, grandson of Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Mary and her husband lived in the Pearson House and she was instrumental in establishing the Pearsonville M.E. Church.  The church, built near the graves of her ancestors, was completed in 1858.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Aunt Yetti"

Mrs. Episcopo, "Aunt Yetti", (1868 - 1950), managed the Casino Restaurant in White City Park from 1911 to 1922.  She also  served as a Democratic Committeewoman of the 11th District of Hamilton Township.  Her last address was 225 Buchanan Avenue

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

1964: Rowan School, Grade 3


 L to R from the top:  Robin Heim,Greg Oroz, Joe Johnson, Bernard Riehl, Jerome Walker, Jill Hartman, Joyce Williams, Elizabeth Talyor, Eileen Rametti, Marie Valzac, John Leco, ??, Debbie Talyor, Keith ____, Steve Kuzma,, ??, Mike Davis, Arthur Riehl, Karen Bainbridge, Michele Kocan, Debbie Gibson, Eileen Rappaport, Bette Davis, Joann Wilson, Mark Pulguise and Larry Scully. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

1902: Deutzville Outlook

Trenton Sunday Times, June 15, 1902

Saturday, February 7, 2015

1920: BSP Catholic Mission Carnival

Trenton Times, Friday, June 11, 1920

The Broad Street Park Catholic Mission, the predecessor of the Church of the Holy Angels parish, utilizing Gibbs Hall on South Broad Street for meetings and Mass, sponsored this carnival to raise funds to purchase land and build a church. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Deutzville Jewelry Works


     This business was established by Adam C. Deutz and his nephew, Frank E. Arend, in the spring of 1860.  The firm produced gold bracelets that were plain flat bands ranging from one-eigth of an inch to one and one-half inches in width.  When the bracelet industry was at its height, from 1866 to 1873, one thousand dollars worth of gold was used on averqge per week.  The output was over 15,000 pairs of bracelets per year. Gold breastpins and earrings were also manufactured in considerable quantity.  Patrons of the company were dealers in jewelry in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and St Louois.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dr. Torrini's Automobile

Source:  Mary Ellen Hirst Devlin, IATT

          Dr. Anthony A. Torrini lived at 98 Marshall Avenue, Hamilton NJ 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BSP New Covenant United Methodist Church



          The top photograph depicts the church as it appeared prior to the brick veneering of the exterior structure in 1959 as depicted in the bottom photograph. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trenton Evening Times, November 27, 1918

       Roller skating took place in the Dancing Academy located at the Buchanan Avenue end of the Park.  It was a good way to work off the large meals many of the skaters most likely consumed and more enjoyable than running around shopping for the "deal" that is the activity for many in today's population.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

1914 : Annabelle Avenue


                  Pictured are homes along unpaved Annabelle Avenue in 1914 .   Edward Reeger developed  27 acres at South Broad and Lalor Streets and named Annabelle Avenue for his daughter.

Friday, October 24, 2014

1914: Bullet Joe and Sylvia

Trenton Evening Times, Thursday October 15, 1914

Joe was sold to the Boston Red Sox in 1917 and became part of a pitching staff that included Babe Ruth.  Four years later he was traded to the New York Yankees.  On October 14, 1923, Bullet Joe Bush pitched a one run, three hit game as the Yankees beat the New York Giants, 8-1.  The next day the Yankees won their first of many World Series championships.  Sylvia, who was living in Philadelphia,  met Joe through her acquaintance with Weldon Wycoff, another Philadelphia Athletics pitcher.  Various censuses support that Bush was married to Sylvia until at least 1930,  Joe died November 1, 1974.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

1889: Deutzville Lots

Trenton Evening Times, Sunday, April 4, 1889
     Frank E. Arend, owner of a large number of lots in Deutzville, along with his uncle, Adam C. Deutz, established the Deutzville Jewelry Works in 1860.  The references in the ad such as "parks and lakes border on malaria-breeding marsh" and "Instead of overlooking a marsh" obviously was an attempt by the Union Land Association to discourage prospective homeowners from purchasing a lot from the Broad Street Land Association in Broad Street Park. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

1923: Fairview Park Carnival

Trenton Evening Times, Saturday June 30, 1923

          Those were nice prizes given away in 1923.  DeCou's Lane may have been what eventually became Hobson Avenue. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WWII Gas Rationing

Rationing cards like this were used by BSP residents during World War II. The reverse states:  This card must last at least through June 30, 1942 in the rationed area.  This card must be presented to your dealer for cancelation (sic) of one or more units each time you purchase gasoline.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rusling Hose Company 100th Anniversary Parade

October 1996

        Members of Rusling Hose Company, organized in October 1896,  march in the parade commemorating the Company's  100th anniversary on Bow Hill Avenue.   

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rusling Members Celebrate 110th Anniveresary

Members observed the organization of Rusling Hose Company on October 24, 1896 with a meeting in the former firehouse at 547 Schiller Avenue followed by a reception in the American Legion Post 313 hall where this picture was taken in October 2006.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1922: Unexpected Shower

Trenton Sunday Times, July 30, 1922

 Deliberately showering the spooners?  Nah, just a coincidence that the water fell on the hot spot sparks.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

1909: Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

Trenton Sunday Times, January 27, 1907

     The Mercer County Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a memorial to the brave men who fought for the flag.  The monument association was incorporated in 1901 and General Rusling, a veteran of the Civil War, was chosen president.  The monument was placed in Cadwalader Park and dedicated June 1909.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

1987:Rainbow Senior Citizens

Trenton Times, Saturday, April 4, 198


     The group met in the basement of the New Covenant United Methodist Church at South Broad Street and Buchanan Avenue,  Them group performed for the area's nursing homes, hospitals, church benefits, PTAs and organizational dinner meetings. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


The prize reminds us (well, some of us) of the days when coal was used to heat our homes.  The days when the coal dump truck backed up to the basement window, put the coal chute into the window and released the coal into the coal bin. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Original Fairview Park Firehouse


     As previously mentioned, items from Fairview Park (DeCou Village) and Lalor Tract which border BSP and Deutzville will be presented.  The above photograph depicts the original firehouse constructed in 1914 of the Fairview Park Volunteer Fire Company organized in 1914.  The portion in the rear was constructed in 1928, the same year the company name was changed and incorporated as the DeCou Hose Company.  These buildings on Ruskin Avenue were razed in April 1950 to make way for a new one-story firehouse to house three fire apparatus.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Horse Thieves in BSP

Trenton Sunday Times, May 31, 1914

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trenton Evening Times, February 23, 1941


Friday, January 10, 2014

A Theater? Yes !

     Local lore, heretofore unsubstantiated, has it that this building at 209 Harrison Avenue was a movie theater at one time.  A 1908 Sanborn map image below verifies that it was a theater.  It is indicated that moving pictures were shown in the building in summer.  This indicates it was a seasonal use to attract the many people who proceeded down Harrison Avenue from South Broad Street to enter White City Park.  The park entrance on McClellan Avenue is seen on the far left. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

White City Park

     In the late 1800s, the Trenton Passenger Railway Company ran its tracks out to a well-known picnic area called Spring Lake on the outskirts of Trenton, NJ.  In an effort to attract more riders, the trolley company developed Spring Lake Park which evolved into White City Park.  The fascinating history of this amusement park is rendered in the new book, "Let's Go to the White City:  A History of White City Amusement Park, Hamilton, New Jersey", published by Archway Publishing.
     Named for the white painted buildings on the property, White City Park opened in 1907 and was dubbed "The Coney Island of New Jersey."  Visitors enjoyed riding the roller coaster and carousel, as well as wandering up the midway  to see popular bands and vaudeville acts.  During the summer, visitors fished and rode the flume ride onto Spring Lake, and when winter arrived, they ice skated on its surface.  "Let's Go to the White City" preserves the memory of this long gone amusement park.  It presents an accurate recreation of a park and the memories of its visitors for a new generation to enjoy. 

"Let's Go to the White City"
Softcover 8.5 x 8.5 in.
ISBN 9781480803305

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hamilton Public Library

1931 Genesee Street

     The Hamilton Township Public Library was organized in 1923  and located in the municipal building.  Since that location was not accessible to many people, Hattie Sherman and Lida Van Sant organized a branch in Broad Street Park.  At first it was located in Harry Robbins' store at the corner of South Broad Street and Sewell Avenue.  It then moved to the basement of the Broad Street Park Methodist Church.  Later it was located in a building across from the old Rusling Hose Company building.  While at this location the Library was open one night a week and Mrs. Sherman and Mrs. Van Sant were paid $2 for working that evening.  Next the Library was moved to a house which was located on what is now the parking lot of Providence National Bank on South Broad Street.  In time, this house was moved to  Genesee Street to make way for the bank (then Yardville Bank) and then moved again to Independence Mall.  Interestingly, the Library located in the municipal building charged two cents per day for overdue books.  There was also a Library truck which picked up and delivered books to the various branches  Special thanks to Lee Lugossy for this narrative.

August 1933
Hamilton Township Public Library Local History Collection

Monday, December 9, 2013

1903: Crosswicks Creek Flood

     From time to time historical information from areas outside of Broad Street Park such as DeCou Village (Fairview Park), Lalor Tract and Deutzeville will be presented.  This Fairview Park post provides two images from the late Michael Rusnak's collection of the October 1903 Crosswicks Creek flood.

     This image depicts a barge or chucker, as it was sometimes called, on the swollen Crosswicks Creek at the Lacey Farm.  Submerged are trolley tracks where the telegraph poles are surrounded by water.  At the head of the barge is Tom Lacey, next with an oar is Isador Lacey and with the other oar is George Lacey.

     This image depicts a house across the road from where the long gone White Horse Bowling Academy once existed and the Lacey Farm showing flood water up to the front step.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1942: BSP Youngsters

December 1942


         This group of Broad Street Park youngsters collected "scrap' for the WWII war effort.  Pictured L to R are:  Unknown, Unknown, John (Jess) Peoples, Tommy Peoples and Theresa (Tess) Peoples..

Friday, November 15, 2013

1908: Potter's Night with "Admiral Lee"

Trenton Evening Times, July 17,1908

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

1907: "Admiral" Lee

Trenton Evening Times, July 21, 1907

Friday, November 8, 2013

NOTE:  story begins at the November 5 post

         The assemblyman looked calmly at the pilot and replied:  "I have heard that the bottom of this lake is full of quick sand pits and I choose to take a chance on the gasoline rather than get caught in quick sand:  you just swim along little boy, and I"ll be on shore when the bell rings."
         Just then the fast sinking ship gave a great lurch and over toppled the Assemblyman into the water.  He struck out for the shore like an old fashioned side wheeler.  Speaking about it afterwards, Mr Barber said he did not know he could swim with his clothes on until last night.
         As the war correspondent approached the shore he sighted a gay object headed due south and making good time.  Later it developed that his object was the new admiral's cap worn so proudly early in the evening by Admiral Lee.
         Although Admiral Lee was first to reach shore he was unable to leave the water until his crew arrived, then he was dry docked without injury.  Deckhand Blackwell offered a liberal reward to any one who would to back to the ship and get his other shoe but the ten gallon tank of gasoline offset any reward.
         Pilot Palmer was slightly burned and Paymaster Hamill was kissed on the funny bone by a large roman candle.  The rest of the crew and the Admiral escaped without any damages.  The boat was wrecked,
         Arriving at the White City Casino, the officers and members of the crew went into a judicial session which resulted in the court-martialing of Admiral Lee for being the first to desert the ship.
         This morning a survivors association was formed with Mr. Lee as president.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NOTE:  story begins at November 5 post

      When Admiral Lee went overboard, Paymaster Hamill was standing in the conning tower and the ship, relieved of the great weight of the admiral, careened viciously, tossing the paymaster into the lake backwards, new straw hat and all.  The paymaster thought the act was intentional on the  part of the admiral and he immediately struck out for him with deadly intent.  However, the admiral was swimming in a way that would have made Captain Webb open his eyes in wonder and the paymaster never got near enough to even tell him what he would do if he did catch him.
        On the battleship all was commotion.  The war correspondent was tying to throw the exploding fireworks overboard:  Deckhand Blackwell was sitting in the bottom of the boat dodging skyrockets and removing his shoes preparatory to following his brave admiral over the side:  Ensign Green was shouting to Admiral Lee and Paymaster Hamill that they were cowards to thus give up the ship while Deckhand Barber was calmly sitting on the forward deck admiring the fireworks display in the boat.  Suddenly, Pilot Palmer shouted "There's a ten gallon can of gasoline in the forward Part of the boat!"
         "Gasoline!"  That was the tip for the war correspondent to get into the lake and away from the ship as fast as possible and over he went.  Deckhand Blackwell followed suit with one shoe on and the other left in the boat.  Pilot Palmer also took to the water at this time and Deckhand Barber was the only one of the gallant crew left in the burning ship.  Pilot Palmer turned and seeing the Assemblyman, shouted:  "Great God, man, you are sitting right over that tank of gasoline - jump out before you are blown up!"

                                                                   (to be continued)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    NOTE:  story begins at November 5 post

     Admiral Lee ducked to the right and to the left but was unable to escape from the shooting brands of fire.  On the shore the cheers at this exhibition rivaled the roar of a mighty waterfall but on board the good ship "White City", the admiral and his crew heard not the applause.
         "Great guns" or "Oh Fudge", or something that sounded like that or something else, yelled Admiral Lee:   "these pesky things are plugging me fore and aft.  Man the pumps!  Someone turn a hose on me!"  Deck hand Blackwell warded off a flying rocket with his bare hand and told the admiral to go get his own hose and man his own pumps.  Ensign Green cut away the masts and took a look towards the shore for the purpose of determining whether or not he could jump the distance.
         Goaded beyond endurance, the gallant admiral, unable to hold the exploding roman candles and rockets in his lap any longer, hurled them to the bottom of the boat and jumping to the forward deck he hurled himself into the lake and as he went over the side a giant rocket shot after him puncturing his trousers about a foot below the waist line.
         As the admiral's head appeared above the surface of the water, he turned toward the burning ship and in a deeply grieved voice shouted:  "What, ho, my men - would you shoot your brave admiral when his back is turned"?
                                                                    (TO BE CONTINUED)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

1907: White City Lake Fiasco

Trenton Evening Times, July 18, 1907


Ensign Green, Paymaster Hamill, Pilot Palmer, Deck Hand Blackwell and Assemblyman Barber and Local War Correspondent Retire Promiscuously and Riotously Under Hot Fire and Find the Water Fine

           After being under the hottest kind of fire for two and a half minutes last night, Admiral Francis B. Lee and crew of the flag ship "White City"  were forced to desert the ill fated battle ship and swim for the nearby friendly shores.
         The flag ship "White City" was leading the water pageant on White City Lake.  It was the most gaily decorated craft on the lake and in addition it was one of the boats selected to assist in making the fireworks display in connection with the event.  The admiral had purchased a new admiral's cap for the occasion and took his seat proudly in the bow of his gallant ship looking every inch the brave naval hero that he ultimately proved himself to be. 
         Admiral Lee volunteered to hold the roman candles, red fire sticks, sky rockets and other fireworks on his lap while the officers and crew were making the display.  Down the easterly shore of the lake glided the flag ship while thousands on the shore cheered madly, so imposing was the spectacle of the gallant admiral and his heroic crew surrounded by a blaze of red light and shooting rockets.
         But the triumph of the admiral and his flagship was fated to be short lived.  As the "White City" ploughed its way passed the applauding spectators to the far end of the lake, a stray spark from a roman candle fell in the admiral's lap full of fireworks and almost in an instant the flagship became the greatest Fourth of July spectacle ever witnessed in this city.  Sky rockets, roman candles, fire crackers and red fire all broke out at one in the maddest and merriest powder war imaginable.
                                                                 (to be continued)

Monday, October 7, 2013

1908: Park Floral Co. Greenhouses

Sanborn Map, Princeton University Library

     This image depicts the location of the Park Floral Company greenhouses on the corners of Buchanan and Lafayette Avenues in the first decade of  the twentieth century.  Click the Park Floral Company label on the right.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

1908: Willey Bros. Limber Yard

                      Sanborn Maps, Princeton University

This image depicts the structures of the Willey Brothers Lumber Yard located on South Broad Street at Rowan Avenue.